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MID JUNE 2019 The letter was posted on the Graduate Training graduate FB wall by Jo Engellson, owner of the cult. Disjointed and contradictory, as one would expect from a “guru” soaked by devotee adulation... a mind untethered from reality after a clean look into the mirror. Immune to the hurt and pain caused to so many. To those familiar with this “training,” students are brainwashed into thinking that they are the “source of" or the cause of everything. So according to her nonsense spiritual ethos, Jo Englesson “sourced” me and I in turn “sourced” her (I said it was nonsense).
*** IMPORTANT UPDATE ABOUT OUR FUTURE *** From Jo Engellson
I love this community. I love what we’re up to. I love discussions about the work and about distinctions. I love the trainings.
To be transparent, I do think it’s time for me to let you know what’s going on and what the future vision of Gratitude Training is. This way, you can be confident as you choose to stand behind this work, Gratitude Training as a company, and me as a leader. While I’ve worked hard to shield you from the hard truth, I see now, it’s only separated me more from the community and from asking for your support.
Without going into too much detail, last month, I had to make a very hard choice: Close the company and take the losses or save the company no matter what.
Nine years ago, I started Gratitude Training with a huge vision and a somewhat naïve outlook on how to grow and create peace on the planet. With rapid growth and expansion, the realities of running a business vs standing behind an esoteric vision began to surface.
Given the profit and growth trajectory we were on, and my projections for a bright future of 300 centers, I paid little attention to the day-to-day financial and budget analysis that was absolutely necessary to build a strong foundation. It is easy in our line of work to make decisions based on declarations and promises, however, when declarations fall short, as a business owner, I am ultimately responsible.
I made many decisions from a place of “That sounds great!”, “I don’t want people to know we can’t afford it.” or “Build it and they will come.” Once expenses and expectations were in place, it felt impossible to roll back, even when it was needed.
In September 2017, everything came crashing down hard. Hurricane Irma destroyed our center and, when combined with other unexpected circumstances, the entire company went belly up. I was committed to staying the course. I wanted to keep the momentum and the expectations alive. I was willing to do ANYTHING to not only save the company and my vision, but also my image.
I am telling you this so that you have a full picture of where we have been, what I have learned and where we will go from here. Today, because of this experience and my dedication to ensuring the success of Gratitude Training, I can tell you that it's a bright future. I am informed and experienced...you have a passionate leader at the helm.
Three months ago, I hired a consultant to support me in getting the company back on track and to create a profitable, sound foundation for future success.
In the first meeting he put me to the task of dissecting every single expense, projecting realistic sales data and then analyzing how to cut expenses and increase the number of people in the trainings. This was all in the spirit of creating a world that works for everyone.
The further down the rabbit hole I went, the more that was revealed to me. My mistakes, my wins and my choices were all right there in the numbers. It was fascinating, and for the first time, I realized that it’s pretty black and white. You can’t spend what you don’t have!
“It’s not about the numbers, until you get it about the numbers, then it’s all about the numbers.”
I get it now.
After 3 months of dissecting data, percentages, numbers, and possibilities, we have now created a model that will get us back on track, and not only that, create abundance. It will take time, but it is a solid plan, and the only plan to create a win-win for all of us, and for the world.
On a personal note, the last two years have been exhausting. Every time I thought I turned a corner, something else happened, having me continuously apply the training to stay sane. I’ve had periods of rolling up my sleeves and staying at the office past midnight. I’ve moved through times where all I wanted was to “check out” and disconnect from the trainings, my family, and my kids. Other times, I experienced extreme joy and sometimes anger and frustration. During all of this, I have learned so much about myself, being a business owner, a wife and a mother. I have learned how to be honest, real, authentic and vulnerable; how to access my joy when it felt there was none left, how to be powerful in the midst of powerlessness, and how to surrender and trust that no matter what, I am perfect whole and complete and I am Gratitude.
Thanks to embracing vulnerability, my image no longer runs me.
Thanks to Hurricane Irma, I have become a powerful leader and the company’s foundation is more solid that ever.
Thanks to Arian, Sixten and Freya, I have learned about the importance of love and commitment.
Thanks to all of you, I am still standing.
So, what’s next!?!
As many of you may already know, most Transformational companies are not sustainable. They are usually created by people with a big vision and little business experience. Gratitude Training is my 4th company and the one that has had me become who I am today: the person that will shake up the statistics in this industry and create a sustainable model that can be replicated and mainstream enough to actualize our vision; to change the world.
I truly believe that everything that has happened over the last 9 years, and especially the last 2 years, was somehow needed for me and us to get to where we are supposed to. That is exciting!
Everyone will experience some of the effects of the changes we have implemented: employees, trainers, me and you. We worked as hard as we could to minimize cutting expenses that affect the community and the people that love to support. However, we had to make some hard choices, at least for now.
Gratitude Training does not require volunteers to operate. We could choose to redesign the trainings, raise prices, never give free passes, and hire full time training room staff. Instead we choose to offer trainings where most people can afford to attend and a community, a space, for everyone to freely contribute to others. This is what we pride ourselves on.
I want to give a special thank you to everyone, and there are so many of you, that get me and align with the vision. Without you, Gratitude Training would not be the same. While I may be the founder, you are the heart of it all. You are the reason I am inspired. You are Gratitude.
I hope I have shed some light by sharing from my heart and disclosing the facts.
I now request your love, support and compassion as we reimagine, revitalize and reinvent the company and the community.
We are getting very close to being back in our training center Pompano Citi Centre and it is going to be beautiful! I can’t wait to see your faces there and everywhere as we continue to transform the planet!